How to review pension?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Pensions, Annuities & Retirement Planning
9 replies 880 views
downsizer3downsizer3 Forumite
683 Posts
After a few years of burying my head I'm looking at the performance of my pension and how to get back on track.
My pension fund is worth the same now as it was in 2007.
I have absolutely no idea if that is good, bad or indifferent and I'd like to get some independant advice.
I'm currently with St James' Place and am concious that they charge fees and may not be the best place to be.
I know I'm already way behind where I should be and don't want to compound that by paying out for poor performance.

How do I go about reviewing it and finding someone who can help me without trying to make money for themselves?
Am I likely to loose a percentage if I move?
Thanks.
May 2018 - £159k + £3.5K CC - let the countdown begin! :)
March 2019 - CC gone and bye bye M2 on 31st! £140k to go.:j

Replies

  • jem16jem16 Forumite
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    downsizer3 wrote: »
    I'm currently with St James' Place and am concious that they charge fees and may not be the best place to be.

    2 separate things here.

    The fact that they charge fees for advice is good.

    St James' Place however is well known for its slick operation, but is not necessarily in the best interests of the client as they are tied to thei rown products and not independent.
    How do I go about reviewing it and finding someone who can help me without trying to make money for themselves?

    You won't find anyone who will be able to help you without making money for themesleves. You surely don't expect someone to work for nothing do you?

    However what you do need is an IFA ( ie independent) who will work in your best interests.
    Am I likely to loose a percentage if I move?
    Thanks.

    Perhaps, perhaps not. It all depends on your current pension and whether or not a move will be better or worse for you in the long term.
  • From the period October 2007 to October 2012, the FTSE has gone down, so I suppose it could be argued that the value being the same is ok.

    In reality though, you should still see significant growth during that time if the portfolio was managed correctly.

    A Pension Review should include:

    - A comparison of charges between what you've got Vs. what's available (new contracts tend to be cheaper as time goes by).

    - A look at the funds you're invested in Vs. a suitable profile based on your attitude to risk.

    - A look at the funds you're invested in Vs. the performance of the sector averages.

    I can predict (without knowing anything about your plan other than it hasn't budged and it's with St. James Place) that your personal pension will be better served elsewhere.

    Perhaps give your local IFA a bell, find one here: https://www.unbiased.co.uk

    P.S - If you're within 5 years of retirement (let's say), the cost of making the transfer might not be recouped in time.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    SJP is one of the most expensive distribution channels going. As Jem says, very slick and professional but damned expensive.
    and I'd like to get some independant advice.
    which you will not get from SJP as they are not independent.
    How do I go about reviewing it and finding someone who can help me without trying to make money for themselves?

    Anyone you employ to do work for you needs to be paid. However, an IFA should easily be able to wipe the floor with SJP with respect to coming in with a cheaper pension.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Good advice thanks - have had a look on unbiased and will meet with SJP soon - then compare with a IFA.
    Don't mind paying a fee for advise - just don't want them to see me as a cash cow........I aim to go better armed with MSE advice this time around. It was SJP slick advice that reeled me in - started to get suspicious when I moved my Life assurance / income protection etc and they got pretty shirty!
    May 2018 - £159k + £3.5K CC - let the countdown begin! :)
    March 2019 - CC gone and bye bye M2 on 31st! £140k to go.:j
  • Appointment made and I'll see what they say about moving where its invested, what fees they charge and then go compare with others.
    I'll also ask what it will cost to move it..........gulp.
    May 2018 - £159k + £3.5K CC - let the countdown begin! :)
    March 2019 - CC gone and bye bye M2 on 31st! £140k to go.:j
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    downsizer3 wrote: »
    Appointment made and I'll see what they say about moving where its invested, what fees they charge and then go compare with others.
    I'll also ask what it will cost to move it..........gulp.

    What I expect to happen next is the IFA will ask you to sign an authority letter that allows them to write to SJP to obtain details. IFAs have comparison software that allows the charges, projections, funds etc to be compared and they should be able to supply you with a report showing you the differences. It will take a couple of weeks to get to that stage as they cant do it until SJP give them the required information. However, at that point I suspect you will see SJP a long way down the list.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Well - that's good to know I guess - better to change now than compound the issue. Pretty horrified to see no movement in 6 years so it'll be hard for SJP to convince me not to move!
    Any thoughts on flat fee vs commission for IFA?
    May 2018 - £159k + £3.5K CC - let the countdown begin! :)
    March 2019 - CC gone and bye bye M2 on 31st! £140k to go.:j
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    Any thoughts on flat fee vs commission for IFA?

    Most pension contracts are fee based and have been for many years. There is just 2 months left of commission basis anyway. So fee basis makes total sense. Remember that fee does not mean you have to write a cheque for the advice. It can be deducted from the pension and paid via the commission system.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • thanks - lets see what I unearth next week.....
    May 2018 - £159k + £3.5K CC - let the countdown begin! :)
    March 2019 - CC gone and bye bye M2 on 31st! £140k to go.:j
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